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Last-place Bears get back to work coming off a bye

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LAKE FOREST, Illinois — With his team coming off a bye, Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman continues to look for answers to his team's struggles.

Trestman on Monday said he's seen little evidence of any locker room tension within the team as practices began for Sunday night's game in Green Bay.

"The support in this building has been outstanding," Trestman said. "That's all I can say. Everybody upstairs has been extremely supportive of the way we're handling things.

"Our team has been unbelievably compliant in doing everything that we, as coaches, and myself have asked them to do. That's evident on the field. It's evident in the locker room."

Trestman said he sees no drop in effort during practices or meetings.

"What we haven't seen is the production on Sundays," he said.

Bears coaches spent a week self-scouting to pinpoint flaws after giving players off Tuesday through Sunday during the bye.

"I think that it came down to a number of things," Trestman said. "It comes down to play selection. It comes down mental errors. It comes down to penalties. It comes down to those things that really are the result of things that you can control.

"That's what we have to assess in our assessment — what are the things that we can control to be more consistent. There's a litany of things. I gave you just a few that every team has to do well for them to start faster."

In last place in the NFC North and three games behind the Detroit Lions, the Bears have played only one division game and lost 38-17 to Green Bay.

"Everything that we want is still ahead of us," safety Ryan Mundy said. "Coach Trestman pointed out two examples of teams who were at similar starts as us.

"In 2012, the Redskins, I believe started out 3-6 and won their division. And then last year, the Eagles started out 3-5 and ended up winning their division. We have a lot of football left and every game is a critical game for us right now. They're all NFC opponents and they're all division games, so they're all must wins for us."

The Bears also have five of their final seven games at home, although that hasn't been a positive this season as they're 0-3 in Soldier Field.

Getting players back healthy could benefit them.

Linebacker Lance Briggs is expected back from a rib injury after missing three straight starts. Safety Chris Conte had a week off after suffering through shoulder sprains and concussions in the first half. And rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller had a week off to rest three injuries, including a broken hand.

The offense will go into the workweek trying to decide on a replacement for injured left guard Matt Slauson, who went on injured reserve. Michael Ola appears to be the candidate of choice at this point. They've also considered moving right tackle Jared Mills to left guard, but Ola played the last game at left guard after Slauson's season-ending pectoral injury.

The defense sees a need to become more physical, with Briggs and the entire linebacker group expected back after the top four linebackers were out at one point in the first half.

"We've got to outhit our opponents and we've got to do that for however long that game goes," Young said.

Trestman called Briggs a key to the defense recovering after giving up 51 points to New England in the previous game. Briggs normally calls defensive signals and changes.

"We want him to bring his best," Trestman said. "Having him out there being the vocal, the leader part of it is certainly a huge part of it, getting people lined up, and then just playing as hard and as fast as he's capable of playing, as he did when we started the season."

NOTES: Defensive end David Bass was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster to replace defensive end Lamarr Houston, who went on injured reserve due to a ruptured anterior cruciate knee ligament suffered in a post-sack celebration. Bass has 20 1/2 tackles, a sack and 2 1/2 tackles for loss in his two-year NFL career. ... T Jason Weaver was signed to the practice squad.


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